Apr 25, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Geography BA - Earth Systems Science Concentration

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Do you love studying maps? Are you curious about why things happen where they do? If you like thinking about our impact on the planet, then there’s a place for you here-where you can study everything from world hunger and hazardous waste to erosion, trade, transportation and more. How does dust in the atmosphere affect climate change? What is the optimum amount of soil water content for a forest to thrive under extreme temperatures? Why do some maps omit places that are popular with people who are LGBTQ? Join us and find out.

Visit the Geography academic program page for more information about the academic experience, who you will learn from, opportunities outside of class and what you can do with this degree.

Visit the Geography department page  for contact information, a brief overview of the department and the curricular options.

Admission Criteria

Current UB students seeking admission to the Geography BA - Earth System Science concentration will be added to the major upon request by completing the College of Arts and Sciences Major/Minor Change Request Form.

Course Requirements

Geography Earth Systems Science Electives (11-14 credits)


*Statistics Substitution (GEO 211 ): If you have already completed one of the following Stats courses, you will not need GEO 211 . Approved substitutions: PSC 408 , PSY 207 , SOC 294 , STA 119 , STA 119 , ECO 480 , EAS 305 ECO 380 . However, students who take a course outside of Geography that is equivalent to GEO 211  must complete an additional Geography elective.

Total Credits Required for Major: 45-49

Additional Degree Requirements Include:

  • Additional coursework to fulfill UB Curriculum requirements
  • Elective courses as needed to complete the 120 credit hour total

Total Credits Required for Graduation: 120

Total Credit Hours Required represents the minimum credits needed to complete this program, and may vary based on a number of circumstances. This should not be used for financial aid purposes.

Program Honors and Program Distinction

Students must complete an honors project under the supervision of a Geography faculty member. Each project is to be read and evaluated by a second faculty member in the department who has expertise in the area of the student’s project. Students who wish to complete an honors project must make arrangements with the appropriate faculty member by the end of the semester preceding the semester (or summer session) when the student expects to register for the honors course. Students must receive a grade of B or higher in the honors course. Students must also meet the remaining Program Honors criteria outlined in the Academic Honors policy

Majors who do not pursue a thesis but have exceptional grades are eligible for Program Distinction upon degree conferral if the criteria are met.  These criteria are also found in the Academic Honors policy.

Curricular Plan

A Curricular Plan provides a roadmap for completing this academic program and the UB Curriculum on time. Your actual plan may vary depending on point of entry to the university, course placement and/or waivers based on standardized test scores, earned alternative credit and/or college transfer credit.

First Year Fall

Total Credits: 15 or 16

First Year Spring

Total Credits: 15 or 16

Second Year Fall

Total Credits: 14

Second Year Spring

Total Credits: 15

Third Year Fall

Total Credits: 16

Third Year Spring

Total Credits: 15

Fourth Year Fall

  • International Trade Area Elective Credits: 3
  • Urban & Regional Analysis Area Elective Credits: 3
  • GEO Elective Credits: 3
  • Elective Credits: 3
  • Elective Credits: 3

Total Credits: 15

Fourth Year Spring

Total Credits: 14

Total Credits Required: 120

Note: Some classes may count toward both a major and UB Curriculum requirement.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Earth Systems Sciences concentration, students will be proficient in collecting, describing, analyzing, and interpreting data on Earth surface processes, environmental science, and biogeography. Students will develop skill in using state-of-the-art equipment and geospatial technologies and models employed in research, industry, and government agencies. Students will have theoretical and practical experience in hydrology, terrestrial ecology, natural resources, and land management as well as addressing environmental issues such as global climate change and landscape degradation.


(HEGIS: 22.06 GEOGRAPHY, CIP45.0701 Geography)


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